Bali is home to lots of fascinating places both inland and along the tropical coastline; so much so, that it can be hard to know where to begin. Whether you’re seeking wildlife, temples or an idyllic beach spot, here’s a list of our Top 5 Bali Destinations which will hopefully make planning your Indonesia trip just that little bit easier…
Just an hour from the airport, you’ll find yourself in the green heart of Bali. Ubud is an artistic town with tons of fine restaurants and arty shops, surrounded by the fresh green terraced paddy fields. Wildlife enthusiasts, take note: right in the centre of the town you’ll find the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary where you can spot countless long-tailed macaques clambering over ornate Balinese statues.
Lovina is a great addition to your Indonesia holiday and has been a popular hideaway for backpackers and adventure travellers for years. It has a chilled out, laid-back atmosphere and boasts lots of little restaurants, shops and diving schools. Thanks to a large shrimp population in the waters around Lovina, the area attracts lots of dolphins.
You’ll need to set off early in the morning with a local guide in a traditional Jukung boat. The water is as smooth as glass at this time of day and before you know it, you’ll hear splashing alongside the boat as the first group of dolphins appear- a real highlight of any Indonesia holiday!
Permuteran is a lovely little bay with beautiful hotels and one of Bali’s best sandy beaches right on your doorstep. A very successful coral reef restoration project is being run by local businesses in the area, which means you can rent a snorkel and mask and see amazing marine life and corals only 10 metres off the beach.
Menjangan Island is nearby and you can go on a boat trip to the island in search of colourful fish and sea turtles. These day trips are run by the local dive shop and you get your own professional snorkelling guide, and lunch and drinks are also provided. You can also choose to visit the Barat National Park to spot exotic birds and other wildlife in the forest and mangroves.
If you’re after an active adventure on your Indonesia trip you could pay a visit to Munduk, a charming Balinese mountain village. Located in the north of Bali, here you’ll find beautiful traditional houses and a comfortably cool climate thanks to its relatively high altitude. The area surrounding the village is great for treks through the jungle and rice paddies of the mountains.
There are many local guides that can take you on an environmental trek through the lush countryside, showing you the coffee, clove, vanilla and avocado plantations dotted through the jungle. You can also trek to a few beautiful lakes and the picturesque Red Coral Waterfall. The treks range from light hikes lasting 2 – 3 hours, and more adventurous treks that take you deeper into the mountains, lasting 6 – 7 hours.
Hidden in the heart of Bali, amidst bright green rice paddies, lies the magical Tirtagangga Water Palace. Tirtagangga literally means “water from the Ganges.” You can sleep in the palace itself where you can go for a royal swim in the pool of the former sovereign.
Tirtagangga is an ideal base for trekking through the surrounding countryside. If you fancy a little dose of culture during your Indonesia holiday, you can also spend a couple of days with a local family as part of a Bali homestay, learning more about how the locals live in the stunning landscape.